Scripture: Literal Or Figurative?
Special topics in Bible interpretation all center around the use of figurative language in the Scriptures that involves "the representation of one concept in terms of another because the nature of the two things compared allows such an analogy to be drawn.
Most writers use comparison to explain the unfamiliar by that which is already familiar to the reader."1 These figures of speech are very common in all language, and they are used to express things in interesting ways. It is important to remember that even when figurative "picture talk" is used, it is always intended to express a literal truth. 2
Figurative language is often used to speak about abstract concepts in terms of concrete things. All human speech contains this type of language because it is intrinsic to the way people communicate.
Very often when we are talking about something which is not perceptible by the five senses, we use words which in one of their meanings refer to things or actions that are. When a man says that he grasps an argument he is using a verb (grasp) which literally means to take something in the hand but he is certainly not thinking that his mind has hands or that an argument can be seized. To avoid the word grasp he may change the form of the expression and say, "I see your point," but he does not mean that a pointed object has appeared in his visual field. Everyone is familiar with this linguistic phenomenon and the grammarians call it metaphor. Anyone who talks about things that cannot be seen, or touched, or heard, or the like, must inevitably talk as if they could be seen or touched or heard.3
Almost all of the Bible language used to describe God involves metaphor because that is the only way that finite creatures can speak about the Infinite Creator.
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1 John 5:13
7-8-21-21, Israel has only 8000 square miles of land - the Muslims have 5 million. Yet, they also want the Jews land. Of all the nations of the world, the Lord chose the descendants of Jacob [Jews], not Ishmael [Muslims], to be His covenant people - the descendants of Abraham and wife Sarah. (Genesis 17:19-21; Malachi 1:1–5).
✝️ 6-8-20, Jesus is God; He came to save sinners. “For He [Jesus] Whom God sent speaks the words of God: The Father loves the Son & has given all things into His hand. He that believs on the Son hath everlasting life & they that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on them.” John 3:34-36
✝️ 6-7-20, The Lord □ Jesus spoke from the cross first of forgiveness, salvation then of His Mother's care into John's hands. He spoke of being forsaken & then triumph as His task as human was complete shedding His perfect blood for the forgiveness of sins to all who repent believing in Him. His body was thirsty. And last of His reunion with the Father. Matthew 27:46; Luke 23:34, 43, 46; John 19:26-28, 30; Mark 15:34
✝️ 5-7-20, Sins □ Jesus Harshly Condemns; He said, “God knows our hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. V9 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” [Pride] Luke 16:15, 18:9-14; Hebrews 1:8-9
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